What is up with chalk paint why do people like it so much? I had to try out some different chalk-paint recipes to find out for myself and in this post, I’m sharing my results. Especially calcium carbonate chalk paint because it is non-toxic and which I used in my favorite dresser makeover.
Certain pieces of furniture I just can’t imagine with a lacquer or spray-painted finish. The distinct finish of chalk paint was perfect for some pieces that I had found at some local auctions and I tested out different recipes on those following dressers.
I don’t know if you read my first chalk paint dresser makeover a couple of weeks ago, which I painted with CeCe Caldwell’s Destin Gulf Green chalk paint. I love how it turned out.
I also painted the following dresser with the leftover paint and the hex sign knob details. This particular green is a beautiful shade of almost turquoise and I’m beyond in love with it.
The texture of CeCe Caldwell’s chalk paint is incredible and very chalky and when you apply the wax, you can feel it being absorbed. Which is what you want.
I wanted to try out my own chalk paint though too. I hate having to wait for stuff I purchase online. I’m the kind of person who wants to walk into a store, buy and walk out (especially when I have an idea in my head)…well unless it’s Christmas and I’m trying to get away from crazy crowds! And since we don’t have a chalk paint vendor in the area, I have to buy the chalk paint online and I hate waiting for it. Another reason is that I don’t like being restricted to a certain color paint selection. And when you make your own chalk paint you can pretty much use any shade you want/find.
And you know what else is great about chalk paint versus spray paint? Well, I would be able to paint inside during the wintertime without spray residue and harmful fumes. MAJOR PLUS!!! Chalk paint is also way more forgiving than spray paint. Mistakes are so much easier to fix.
In this post, I’m not addressing the “Plaster of Paris” chalk paint recipe because Plaster of Paris is toxic, carcinogenic to be specific and although I’ve heard it works great, I didn’t want to get into it. Spray paint is already toxic enough for me which is the reason I wanted to stay with the non-toxic versions.
DIY paint recipes
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Let’s start with my least favorite version, the non-sanded grout recipe:
“Non-Sanded Grout” recipe
- 1 cup of flat latex paint
- 2 tablespoons of Non-Sanded Grout
In a mixing container mix grout with water, adding a little bit at a time until you get a nice smooth consistency. Add more water as needed to break up the powder. Once the powder is mixed thoroughly with water, add the paint and stir well.
I tried it out on one of my previous dressers. The non-sanded grout chalk paint dries rapidly. I didn’t like it! And yes, I tried adding more water as I went but I just hate being rushed and slapping it on, I like taking my time. I honestly really didn’t care for it. I have a huge bag left of the non-sanded grout and who knows, I might try it again one day, but for now, I have to say that I disliked it.
Calcium carbonate chalk paint recipe
My favorite recipe by far is the calcium carbonate chalk paint recipe, which is a dietary supplement and non-toxic, yay! Not a bad price either at around $6-$11, right?
Mix all the below ingredients well:
- 2 tablespoons of Calcium Carbonate Powder
- 1 tablespoons water
- 1 cup flat latex paint
(If you buy 1 quart of paint at the home improvement store then mix that quart with 8 tablespoons of Calcium Carbonate Powder)
As I said, I really like the calcium carbonate chalk paint a lot. It’s smooth, and good to sand and the wax goes on great as well.
Don’t forget to finish with wax!
And I love using THIS clear wax.
If you want it to have an antiqued finish then use a wax like THIS!
Tips for applying the wax to the calcium carbonate chalk paint
Did you ever grease a pan with butter on a paper towel before baking? Well, that’s how I apply the wax to the furniture with an old t-shirt in smaller sections. Don’t clump the wax. You can use a waxing brush to get into more textured paint. Then buff it out with the pad or clean cloth similar to how you would buff a car. There are different techniques but this is how I like to do it.
For the gold detail on the dresser, I used Rub ‘n Buff that I thinned out with paint thinner and then brushed on.
My overall comparison to the purchased CeCe Caldwell paint is that if you like texture, then that’s the paint you should use. I actually really loved that about the paint.
In this case, I wanted a soft feminine look and the calcium carbonate powder to make chalk paint was so smooth and barely had any texture. It was perfect for the style of the pink dresser and the look I was going for.
Last but not least…
baking soda chalky paint recipe
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1 cup flat paint
This finish is very similar to the calcium carbonate chalk paint recipe. For non of the recipes, you need to be exact with the measurements. It all depends on how textured you want the finish. for furniture, it’s definitely better to stay on the thinner side. But you do have to use a flat latex paint to mix.
Update: I recently painted Christmas ornaments and thrifted vessels with baking soda paint which also gives a chalky finish. The accessories end up looking like beautiful pottery if you make it a bit thicker and mix in more baking soda.
And if chalk paint isn’t your thing and you’d rather use a can of spray paint then check out the beautiful and very similar shade of pink below (HERE).
I have to admit that I’m still a spray paint girl at heart….ah the smell…totally kidding but I do love the finish.
You can also check out my dining room buffet/dresser makeover which I sprayed on with a sprayer (HERE). In that dresser makeover post, I’m giving several different options for the perfect subtle shade of pink:
The moral of the story is that making chalk paint with calcium carbonate is super easy, non-toxic, and has a forgiving finish where mistakes are easy to fix. So you should definitely give these chalk-paint recipes a try.